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Songs and Hymns of the Earliest Greek Christian Poets
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II.
HYMN TO GOD.

'Ω παντων επεκεινα · τι γαρ θεμις αλλο σε μελπειν;

(Dactylic hexameter.)

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O Thou, the One Supreme o'er all!2222Or, O Thou beyond the range of all--παντων επεκεινα.

For by what other name

May we upon Thy greatness call,

Or celebrate Thy fame?

Ineffable! to Thee what speech

Can hymns of honour raise?

Ineffable! what tongue can reach

The measure of Thy praise?

How, unapproached, shall mind of man

Descry Thy dazzling throne;

And pierce, and find Thee out, and scan,

Where Thou dost dwell alone?

Unuttered Thou! all uttered things

Have had their birth from Thee:

The One unknown! from Thee the springs

Of all we know and see!

Mindful, and mindless, all things yield

To Thy parental sway

For Thou to all art life and shield:

They honour and obey.

For round Thee centre all the woes

Of night and darkling day,

The common wants and common throes;

And all to Thee do pray.

And all things as they move along

In order fixed by Thee,

Thy watchword heed, in silent song

Hymning Thy majesty.

And lo! all things abide in Thee,

And through the complex whole,

Thou spread'st Thine own Divinity,

Thyself of all the goal.

One Being Thou, all things, yet none,

Nor one nor yet all things;

How call Thee, O mysterious One?

A worthy name who brings?

All-named from attributes Thine own,

How call Thee as we ought?

Thou art unlimited, alone,

Beyond the range of thought.

What heaven-born intellect shall rend

The veiling clouds above?

Be Thou propitious! ever send

Bright tokens of Thy love!

O Thou the One Supreme o'er all!

For by what other name

May we upon Thy greatness call,

Or celebrate Thy fame?


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